Four teams emerged winners from the Ghanaian leg of the World Bank’s Negawatt Weekend, earning a place in a three-week bootcamp and the chance to compete against other winners from across the world.
The Negawatt Challenge hosts innovation competitions in cities worldwide, aimed at finding solutions to transform the use of energy in various cities. Kenya is hosting its own Negawatt Weekend on March 21-22, while another is scheduled to take place in Tanzania at the end of the month.
Four teams – Asor, Flip, Sun Shade and WI – were declared winners of the Ghanaian event. Asor offers a hardware and software solution allowing consumers to estimate and track the power needs of home appliances, while Flip introduces an energy-saving and time-controlled switch for street lighting and commercial lighting in buildings.
Sun Shade focuses on strengthening building insulation by offering an upgrade of conventional shading systems, and WI focuses on strengthening building insulation by offering a turbines cool housing unit by a process known as air exchange.
The event led to the creation of 14 potential solutions to Accra’s most pressing energy efficiency challenges in public, commercial, and residential buildings.
“It’s a very interesting and educational program in a sense that it brings a number of stakeholders: private sector, public sector, and academia – for us to share ideas and see that responsibility for bringing energy efficiency is not one person’s job,” said Lydia Sackey, budget director of Accra Metropolitan Assembly and a lead government counterpart for the Negawatt Challenge technical assistance activity in Ghana.
Overall, the event attracted over 70 makers, hackers, coders, aspiring entrepreneurs, and energy specialists who were tasked to tackle one of the six “challenges” on energy efficiency in the buildings sector.
“Negawatt Weekend has exposed enormous talent in the local startup ecosystem. Though only four teams have been selected for the bootcamp, we will be giving all teams a one-month membership to keep the momentum alive, and to continue the hard work they put forth this weekend,” said Alison Roadburg, programmes manager at the iSpace Foundation, host of the Negawatt Challenge in Ghana.